Do you think that you are good enough to fight in MMA professionally? If so, then there is a one of a kind opportunity for you in Waterford, MI this coming Saturday, February 15th. Imagine the NFL holding an open combine for anyone interested, where agents, sponsors, and teams could potentially hire someone who caught their eye. This is essentially what MMA Draft is doing across the country and the train is stopping in Michigan this week.
The only qualifications for applicants to “tryout” is to pay a $75 registration fee and that you do not have any professional MMA fights. MMADraft.com is looking to find young dedicated fighters. They want to be able to catch the kids very young and talk with their parents to see if being a professional MMA fighter is really what they want. Along with the combine on Saturday, they will have a bonus seminar Sunday with professional MMA fighters including Daron Cruickshank, Urijah Faber and Phil Davis. The seminar will educate young fighters on how to start in the sport, how to market yourself, management, ect.
MMADraft is the only one of its kind in sports, but at the rate MMA is growing it is needed. There is an abundance of amateur fighters that have serious skills and have no quick way of getting noticed. Also I think the most important aspect of these events is the education to the young fighters and their parents. If you can educate the kids now and point them in the right direction it can only be good for the future of MMA.
$75 is also not a bad rate to rub shoulders with some of MMAs top names. So if the prospect fighter doesn’t come away with an MMA contract and the education goes in one ear and out the other, at least they can say they had a seminar from Urijah Faber. Faber has fought in championship fights in the WEC and UFC at 135lbs. Phil Davis is no slouch himself fighting only top name fighters. Davis is 12-1-1 and will likely be fighting for a title one day soon. Also we can’t forget our favorite fighter here at the Meltdown, “The Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank will be in attendance. So if you think you have what it takes to fight the best then get out there and showcase your skills this weekend.
Follow the link for more information regarding the event: https://www.mmadraft.com/events/combine/
Prior to 2012 women fighting in MMA was seen by some as a novelty. In 2011 UFC President Dana White had stated that women would never fight in the UFC. That all changed in November of 2012, when the UFC announced that it was signing Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Rousey an Olympic Judo bronze medalist had just changed the sport and made women’s MMA mainstream.
Rousey was the perfect choice for White and the UFC. She’s not scared to talk trash and back it up, also she is quite easy on the eyes. Rousey was 6-0 before signing with the UFC and had finished all of her fights via 1st round Armbar. She joined the UFC as Bantamweight champion and has since defended her title twice, winning both fights via Armbar and only seeing the 2nd round in her last fight with Miesha Tate back in December. Winning all of her fights with the same technique is absolutely unheard of in MMA.
Some people may find women’s fights hard to stomach. I will admit that I was reluctant at first. Not because I thought they would be boring, but more because I didn’t know if I would be able to see them hurt. I am a father of two girls and I thought it might be tough to watch. I quickly got over it when I saw how skilled and determined the girls were. They wanted to be there just as much as the dudes, and showed it. Rousey’s last fight in December was one of the most intense and electrifying fights I have witnessed. Both fighters gave everything they had, refusing to leave it to a decision by the judges. The fight was the conclusion to a heated rivalry between Rousey and Tate, which was on full display during season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. Season 18 was the first season with women coaches and fighters, featuring Rousey, wh again was breaking new ground in MMA and paving the way for women in the sport.
Rousey navigated to more uncharted territory for women in MMA on January 27th of 2014, breaking into the top ten of the pound for pound fighter rankings at #9(UFC.com). This is monumental shift from just 3 years ago when “women would never fight in the UFC”. Being on a list with the top fighters in the world has to be one of Rousey’s best achievements. She has changed a sport and will forever be remembered. She has most likely already cemented herself in the MMA Hall of Fame.
Ronda will attempt to defend her title once again on February 22nd in the Main Event of UFC 170. She will be taking on Sara McMann who is no pushover at 6-0 as a professional. One thing to watch in the fight will be McMann’s takedown defense. Rousey has finished all of her fights on the ground and McMann has stuffed 100% of takedowns attempted. This may be both fighters toughest competition yet, but I have Rousey winning by submission in Round 2. If you have not seen women fight I would highly recommend this one, Rousey has yet to disappoint in any of her matches.
Contribution By: Dennis Beamer
UFC 169 broke a record with 10 fights going to decision. UFC President Dana white called the event a “catastrophe”. The card was primed to be a great event with 2 title matches. The event took place in Newark, NJ which was no coincidence, being on the same weekend of the Super Bowl.
The Main Card started out with what was undoubtedly the most exciting match, an instant classic between Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner. This war ended with Trujillo knocking out Varner at 2:32 in round 2. Trujillo earned himself $125,000 in bonuses with $75,000 for ‘fight of the night’ and $50,000 for ‘knockout of the night’.
The next 3 fights all ended in Unanimous Decisions with: Ali Bagautinov defeating John Lineker, Alistair Overeem defeating Frank Mir, and Jose Aldo defeating Ricardo Lamas (145lb Title Fight).
The Main Event of the evening was the 135lb Title Fight between champ Renan Barao and challenger Urijah Faber. Faber started off round 1 with some success but then it was all Barao, knocking Faber down with some heavy punches. The fight ended at 3:42 with a dreadfully controversial stoppage. Barao landed an overhand right to the head of Faber, making him lose his feet. Barao quickly swarmed Faber who was in a prone position and landed upwards of 15 hammer fists to the downed opponent. Most of the hammer fists landed on Faber’s shoulder and the ones that landed to the head were not hard enough to do any damage. Referee Herb Dean thought this was enough to stop the fight, and in his defense it is hard to tell how much danger the fighter is in. The referee’s job is to keep the fighters safe and he felt that Faber had taken enough damage.
On the Eve of the Super Bowl, the UFC was expecting a more thrilling card. In the fight game there is no guarantee that the fights will be eventful. Us fight fans will have to just move on, and at least hope for a brawl of two to break out in the much anticipated football game.
Contribution by: Dennis Beamer
In my last post I predicted a 2nd round head kick knockout from “The Detroit Superstar” at UFC on Fox 10. With 15 seconds left on the clock in Round 2 Cruickshank nearly made me look like a fortune teller. He landed a devastating spinning Head Kick to his opponent, nearly scoring the KO. The fight was stopped by referee Herb Dean shortly after the kick from a flurry of punches landed by Cruickshank. Cruickshank also showed his ability to fight thru adversity earlier in the fight, when he appeared to nearly get submitted by a Heal Hook from Rio. Other than the Heal Hook the fight was dominated by Cruickshank. Without a doubt this was one of Cruickshank’s best performances in the Octagon. Cruickshank has set a goal for four fights and four wins in 2014. With his latest performance I will be eagerly waiting to see who is next for the Detroiter.
Results for UFC on Fox 10:
George Sullivan defeats Mike Rhodes via Unanimous Decision
Daron Cruickshank defeats Mike Rio via TKO (Kick, Punches) at 4:56 in Round 2
Hugo Viana defeats Ramiro Hernandez via Unanimous Decision
Chico Camus defeats Yaotzin Meza via Unanimous Decision
Eddie Wineland defeats Yves Jabouin via TKO (Punches) at 4:16 in Round 2
Alex Caceres defeats Sergio Pettis via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Jeremy Stephans defeats Darren Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Donald Cerrone defeats Adriano Martins via Knockout (Head Kick) at 4:40 in Round 1
Stipe Miocic defeats Gabrial Gonzaga via Unanimous Decision
Benson Henderson defeats Josh Thompson via Split Decision
Contribution by: Dennis Beamer
This Saturday in The Windy City thousands of fight fans will brave the wind and cold to see one of the biggest draws in MMA; a UFC primetime card on FOX. Among the fighters will be Detroit’s own Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank. Cruickshank has been with the UFC since 2012, making him a relatively new fighter to the promotion. Daron is 3-2 in the UFC but has an overall professional MMA record of 17-4. Most notably, he was on The Ultimate Fighter season 15. He was the third pick on the show by Coach Urijah Faber. He fought in the first fight of the season and controlled the majority of the fight only to catch a knee to the chin while going for a take down, losing by knockout.
Since 2012, Cruickshank has had some serious competition in the UFC. He’s fought an MMA veteran in Yves Edwards, and lost by arm bar to an up and comer Adriano Martins who will be fighting on the Main Card this Saturday night. Don’t let his 3-2 UFC record fool you though, this dude can throw down! He is what some people would call the “new breed” of fighter. He is very well trained in all aspects of Martial Arts. Daron is equally good at taking you down, busting you up with some leather or turning the lights out with vicious kicks. He is a tremendously exciting fighter to watch and I would expect nothing less of him this weekend.
On Saturday Cruickshank will be taking on fellow Ultimate Fighter Season 15 alum Mike Rio. Rio will be looking to break a two fight losing streak with a win over Cruickshank. Rio has lost his last two fights via submission so look for Cruickshank to attempt some takedowns. Even with that I am picking Cruickshank to win in the second round via head kick KO. “The Detroit Super Star” will be fighting on the undercard which will air on Fox Sports 1 at 5pm eastern, followed by the main card which is on FOX at 8pm eastern.
Being a Lightweight Cruickshank will have his eye on the main card. He could be just a few fights away from breaking into one of the most competitive top tens of all weight classes. The main card is stacked with three of the top ten ranked Lightweight Fighters in action. #8 Donald Cerrone takes on Adriano Martins. #1 Benson Henderson vs. #4 Josh Thompson will be the main event. #12 Gabriel Gonzaga will take on #8 Stipe Miocic in a Heavyweight showdown.
No doubt MMA fans all over Detroit will be cheering on “The Detroit Superstar”. I for sure will be hoping he shows his opponent what it means to be Made in Detroit.
Contribution by: Dennis Beamer
Mixed Martial Arts has quickly become a main stream sport. From its humble beginnings in 1993 at UFC 1 to the present, with dozens of fight promotions competing for a piece of the ever growing fan base. The UFC (the leading fight promotion) even landed a deal with FOX in 2011 for primetime showcases of its fight cards. That is a far cry from its first event in 1993 that was only available to rent or buy on VHS and was lumped together in the video store with porn and ‘Faces of Death’. I remember watching UFC 1 in a friend on mine’s basement and feeling like we were doing something mischievous. The sport has for sure come a long way in popularity and acceptance. MMA was mostly illegal in the US back in 93’ now it is legal in all states with the exception of New York which is a whole different story that requires its own post.
Why is the sport growing so fast? There are not many things more exciting and primal than watching two grown adults fighting for their life in a ring, the loser only to be saved by a referee. I think also that we have all been waiting for something like this, since boxing has plummeted in popularity since the 80s. MMA is a complex sport with multiple ways to win and lose. The athletes need to be skilled in many aspects, muay tai boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, western boxing are only a few of the martial arts that fighters train in. If the fighters are not good in all aspects of fighting they will not make it to the top of any fight promotion. Men dominate the fan base for MMA 75% men to 25% women which is one of the most lopsided ratios in any sport. The leading promotion UFC recently added a women’s bantamweight division. Women’s fights have been so popular the promotion added a second women’s division; 125lb strawweight in December. It is yet to be seen how this will affect MMA’s popularity with women.
Some are still reluctant to follow the sport due to its violent and graphic nature. True, you will most likely see blood and fighters being knocked unconscious if you watch an event. For the most part you will not see anyone get any more injured than a Sunday afternoon NFL match-up. Many of the fights end in a submission where an opponent will ‘tap’ and give up. Also with the smaller gloves worn in MMA, fighters can’t absorb as many punches as in boxing, fights often end with a ‘one punch’ knockout. Which may seem on the surface more dangerous than boxing, but in reality the fighters will take less head trauma than a 12 round boxing match.
I am not saying that MMA is safe by any stretch of the imagination and I would not recommend the sport to anyone who is squeamish. I have on many occasions seen competitors get bones broken by a submission and in December at UFC 168 one of the UFC’s top fighters Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva broke his leg while attempting a leg kick on his opponent, possibly ending his career.
If you are looking for something exciting and unique that is the closest thing we have to modern day ‘gladiators’ MMA might be for you, a human chess match where the most determined, best trained fighters in the world show off their arts. We shall see where MMA will go in the future but at the current growth rate I think it’s safe to say it is here to stay.